Hurricane Gold

Hurricane Gold by Charlie Higson Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Hurricane Gold by Charlie Higson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charlie Higson
–’ He stopped himself from saying something he might regret.
    ‘What?’ said Precious. ‘I’m a spoilt little what?’
    Before James could say anything, Dolores returned, carrying the broken doll. She looked utterly worn down, and when she saw the state of the room she put her hands to her face and burst into tears.
    ‘It’s all right,’ said James. ‘I’ll help you.’
    He started to put things away and Precious stared at him with scorn.
    ‘You look just like a servant,’ she sneered.
    ‘Go to hell,’ said James.
    Luckily, before anything else could happen, Jack Stone arrived. He was wearing a long leather coat over his flying gear and carrying a crocodile-skin attaché case. He took one look around the untidy room and said something harsh to Dolores in Spanish. Dolores nodded and worked harder, her tears falling on to the expensive carpet. Then Stone beamed at Precious and JJ and they assumed the stiff-backed pose of dutiful children.
    ‘I hope you kids have been playing nicely,’ he said.
    ‘No, Daddy,’ said Precious petulantly, her voice that of a five-year-old. And when James looked at her he saw that she was crying tears as real as her maid’s.
    ‘James has been nasty and horrible,’ she sobbed. ‘He threw my doll out of the window and she broke. She was my favourite too.’
    ‘Don’t worry, angel,’ said Stone. ‘I’ll buy you a new one.’ He turned on James with raised eyebrows. ‘I’m disappointed in you, James,’ he said. ‘If you’re going to stay here you’re going to have to make more of an effort to get along with Precious and JJ.’
    James bit his lip and said nothing.
    Stone kissed his children on their foreheads.
    ‘I’ll be back as soon as I can,’ he said. ‘And I’ll bring you a whole planeload of presents.’
    ‘And new dresses?’ said Precious.
    ‘And new dresses for my best girl,’ he said and kissed her again.
    ‘Now, James,’ he said straightening up, ‘do you want to come down and say goodbye to your aunt?’
    ‘Please,’ said James, wishing with all his heart that he were going with Charmian instead of being stuck here with these two monsters.

5
    Four Men With Guns
     
    The three powerful engines of the Ford Trimotor ‘Tin Goose’ struggled to pull the aircraft through the turbulent sky. The propellers thrashed and whined and when they hit pockets of dead air, they seemed to cut out altogether. The whole plane was shaking and rattling and it bumped up and down like a fairground ride. Heavy rain smashed into the windscreen and the wipers were struggling to clear it.
    Strapped into the navigator’s seat behind Jack Stone and Beto, his Mexican co-pilot, Charmian’s teeth were clattering together. She looked over at her guide, Mendoza: he was white with fear and looked like he was about to be sick. The poor man had never been up in an aeroplane before. This was not a good introduction to the pleasures of flying.
    Stone shouted something into his microphone and even with her headphones clamped to her ears Charmian had trouble understanding what he was saying over the roar of the engines and the wind and rain.
    She just made out the word ‘house’ and looked down to where Stone was pointing through the side window.
    A wisp of low cloud momentarily obscured her view and then she could clearly make out the Stones’ house on top of the hill overlooking Tres Hermanas.
    ‘I sure hope they get the storm shutters up in time,’ said Stone. ‘Otherwise I’m going to lose some windows.’
    ‘Don’t worry about them,’ Charmian shouted. ‘You just get us safely away from here.’
    The house looked so secure and solid down there, while she felt totally at the mercy of the growing storm. The plane seemed tiny and fragile as if the wind could tear its wings off and bat it clean out of the sky.
    She had to admit to being rather nervous herself.
    Stone pointed again, this time out to sea, and she gasped as she saw a bank of black cloud towering up into

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